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Panama’s president-elect urges to suspend arbitration proceedings

Panama City, May 9 (Prensa Latina) The president-elect of Panama, José Raúl Mulino, today urged the Canadian transnational First Quantum to suspend arbitration processes to address the problem of the copper mine in Donoso (Colón).

In declarations to the radio program Panama en Directo, the virtual head of state, who won last Sunday’s general elections with 34.2 percent of the votes, asserted that this would be his condition to start conversations on the future of the mining enclave, after its closure at the end of 2023 by order of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ).

I am not going to talk about the mine without those arbitrations being suspended in good faith, that would be a framework that I would appreciate very much if we want to talk calmly’, remarked Mulino.

The foreign company has reiterated in the last months its hope to negotiate with the new Executive to find a solution to the conflict of the mine, whose concession contract with the State was declared unconstitutional after angry popular protests that paralyzed the country last October and November.

Social, union and environmental organizations have called to be alert to this situation and frequently recall that in the streets the people spoke loud and clear when they demanded, without any other possible alternative, the end of open-pit metal mining.

First Quantum announced the initiation of an international arbitration before a court based in Miami (United States) and other processes based on commercial treaties with Canada and South Korea.

The company’s figures show that before the closure, copper exports represented almost 5.0 percent of Panama’s domestic product and 75 percent of all sales of the Central American country.